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Monday, December 23, 2013

Bum Luck (A Crag Banyon Mystery #5)

For you Banyon fans out there, a quick update. The fifth Crag Banyon Mystery, Bum Luck, is ready to go and is only awaiting final work on the cover art. Once that's ready, we'll be good to go. In the meantime, Banyon #6 -- as yet untitled -- is nearly finished. Then on to the next big project.

There will never be enough time in this life to write all the stuff I want to write.

Monday, December 16, 2013

I just read a very questionable statistic that claimed an average adult laughs 15 times a day while a kid laughs 400 times. Maybe. If that kid is wearing greasepaint and trying to take over Gotham City.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Changeling"

This week's Star Trek episode is a result of a tear in the space-time continuum through which the script to Star Trek: The Movie fell backwards ten years and was turned into a cheap 1960s TV show.  Either that or the movie people just copied the same exact plot ten years later in 1978 and threw 50 million bucks worth of movie lipstick on an aging, anorexic TV pig.  (No, not Uhura.  I said "anorexic.")

We learn at the start of the show that four billion people have been killed in a star system, and the near total apathy of the bridge crew suggests that they didn't really like those four billion people all that much.  I mean, it's not like one of those four billion people was Chekov or somebody whose death always makes Kirk sit up and take notice every time he's killed.  Maybe those four billion people kept Kirk's Frisbee when he threw it in their solar system when he was a kid, or maybe they played their music so loud they kept everyone else up in the Milky Way all night long.  So good riddance, four billion anonymous people.  I'm sure you were all guilty of something.

After not caring that four billion people are dead at a writer's whim, a green blob suddenly flies at the Enterprise and everyone starts falling all over the bridge because it still hasn't occurred to anybody to install seat belts.  All they've got is that little fence running around the bridge that everyone is always falling into and grabbing onto, and I wonder if Starfleet has to put up a disclaimer about chipped teeth like those security bars in parking lot traveling carnival roller coasters.  The janitor must have to come in after every alien encounter with a huge mop like those kids use in supermarket aisles to sweep up Sulu's teeth.

Spock says the energy attack of the green blob was equal to 90 photon torpedoes.  The Enterprise is usually bouncing back and forth with panels exploding and smoke coming out the computer consoles with only one or two photo torpedo hits, so I'd think 90 would leave nothing but a crater in space where Shatner's ego used to be. 

The Enterprise's shields are down to 20% and Spock says that they can withstand three more such attacks.  I'm not the best mathematician in the galaxy or a great big super-brain like Spock, but let me have a dummy human whirl at this.

1 energy blob = 90 photon torpedoes and resulted in an 80% loss to the shields.

3 more energy blobs = 270 photon torpedoes and would result in another 240% loss in the shields.

Since you'd only need 101% total green blob energy -- 100% to collapse the shields, 1% to blow up the ship -- by my back-of-the-matchbook calculations, 1 more energy blob would be sufficient to destroy the Enterprise completely with 59% green blob energy left over to vaporize Kirk's toupee just in case he panics and tries launching it out an escape hatch at the last second.

Spock is pretty much as good at ciphering as TV contemporary Jethro Bodine.

The Enterprise fires a torpedo at the thing that shot at them, and Kirk is stunned when it is able to absorb all that energy.  Hey, Captain Genius, your ship just absorbed ninety times that much energy.  Or maybe he's distracted because he's still trying to do Spock's complicated "goes-into-ing" in his head.  Naught, naught, carry the naught...

Kirk finally decides to try to talk to the thing that killed four billion (I'm sorry, vaporized corpses, I just yawned) people, that just tried to kill them, and which he's just tried to blow up.  I'd think saying "hello" would be pretty much the first thing you'd try to do every time you met something new up there in the great unknown of space, although I suppose as a diplomatic gesture trying to blow the hell out everything first works too.

The thing that just tried to kill them agrees to beam aboard the Enterprise, and everyone is so distracted that nobody but me notices that the actor extra in the transporter room wearing the red shirt is the same extra who was up on the bridge a little while ago wearing a blue shirt.  Maybe he spilled mustard on his red shirt.

The thing that killed four billion people (sorry...yawned again) and tried to blow up the Enterprise is a tin gas can with a trash compactor on top.  I guess it must have set those four billion people on fire then ground them up.  I hope none of the four billion people put a spoon down it, because Kirk will have to call a plumber, and they charge a fortune for space calls. 

The special effects team really went above and beyond the call of duty with the ultra-realistic string that floats the alien device off the transporter deck and bounces it around the ship.

The Enterprise senior officers all seem pretty surprised that the thing can move around.  I'm not, since I'm apparently the only one who remembers that two seconds ago the thing was outside flying at warp 15 on a friggin' string.

The thing is called Nomad, it was launched from Earth in the early 2000s and was subsequently damaged and then repaired with alien technology that corrupted its original programming and is now traveling back to Earth to find its creator while in the meantime it's whiling away all those boring in-between hours in space by killing biological infestations.

Don't confuse this with V'ger from Star Trek: The Movie, which was launched from Earth in the late 1900s and was subsequently damaged and then repaired with alien technology that corrupted its original programming and will be traveling back to Earth to find its creator while in the meantime it will while away all those boring in-between hours in space by killing biological infestations.  That time will be much different because it'll be ten years later, 50 million bucks richer and there'll be a bald chick.

Gee, I hope Spock logs all the files on this Nomad encounter in the right spot in the computer, because you wouldn't want to mix up these once-in-a-lifetime alien encounters.

Stop being a better actor than me!

The brilliant machine is so stupid it thinks Kirk is its creator, a guy who in an incredible coincidence just happened to have been called Dunkirk or Poonkirk or SomeotherKirk.  Isn't it amazingly serendipitous that it just so happens that first syllable was erased in whatever -- (possibly a spoon, the jury is still out) -- it is that damaged Nomad?  Isn't it also unbelievably good fortune that the guy who beeps once for yes and twice for no isn't still the captain of the Enterprise?  Figure the odds, Spock.  No, wait, we don't have time to wait for you to take off your shoes to do all that highly advanced ciphering.

Uhura turns on the intercom and starts subjecting the entire ship to her singing.  I'm not kidding.  So if some bored crewman down on Z deck feels like broadcasting fart noises to the whole ship, he can do so just by flipping a switch.  It would also sound better than Uhura's singing.

Nomad hears Uhura shrieking over all the loudspeakers and floats out the door on its string to see who is skinning live cats.  It floats up to the bridge where it sends a blue beam into Uhura's face and gets her to stop singing.  If Nomad can get her to never fan dance again, he'll be my favorite floating tin bucket with a trash compactor on it in the whole wide world. 

V'ger -- oops, I mean Nomad -- kills Scotty, and medical man Bones stands over the body and announces, "He's dead, Jim."  I'd say he's the crummiest doctor in the universe since he doesn't even make any attempt whatsoever to revive him, but simple CPR was probably disinvented somewhere in the 22nd century, so that makes Bones not an incompetent quack I wouldn't trust to put on a Band-Aid.

Nomad says it can fix Ilia...oops, I mean Scotty.  All it needs is some crackers with anatomy books on them and a cheddar cheese scalpel.

It fixes Scotty just by bouncing around on its string next to his bed in sickbay.  It doesn't even send out a beam or a tumescent antenna like it did an embarrassing few minutes ago when it was tracking down Uhura.

Once Scotty is alive again -- no thanks to the ship's chief surgeon who was afraid to perform the kiss of life because it'd make him look gay in front of Sulu --  they tell Nomad to fix Uhura.  It says it can't fix her because her brain was wiped clean, so Spock says they can reeducate her and Bones plasters on that disturbing wax smile that always looks like he's trying to grin his way through a proctological exam.  I'm glad the compassionate doctor is so happy that Uhura's entire memory -- which would include her family, friends, and every life experience to date -- was washed away like a wet sponge across a blackboard.  Hey, just as long as it's not you it's A-okay, right, Albert Schweitzer?

Two minutes later Uhura is somehow already reading at a kindergarten level, and Bones and the homely nurse laugh when she mispronounces "blue."  And the compassion train just rolls on and on in Dr. Mengele's Zany Ztarship Zickbay.

Spock does a mind-meld with the garbage disposal top part of Nomad and figures out that Nomad was originally supposed to sterilize dirt samples but has decided to branch out to include people.  Personally, once I got it to lower its shields I'd have chopped it up with an ax, but feeling it up is okay too, I guess. 

Spock also is able to find out Nomad's history and how it was rebuilt after it was damaged when it joined with an alien probe.  Okay, I can accept that a small pile of scrap metal can travel at warp 15, that it can wipe out entire planets and send out photon torpedoes that are 90 times more powerful than those on the Enterprise even though there is no evidence of any kind of rocket launcher out of the thing's tin bucket, and that it can perform CPR without ever leaving its string, but how is it that Spock can read the computer records in its own garbage disposal head when it can't access those exact same records?  I'm starting to think they maybe didn't think this episode through clearly.  Gosh, I hope they do a big screen remake one day that fills in all the blanks.  (Also that costs millions of dollars more, is as boring as watching snail races on CBS, and that Scotty won't die in that version and will have a mustache.  That would be sweet.)

Nomad punches out the homely nurse, zaps a couple of red shirts, and goes to engineering, which is so modern that it is run entirely with Lite Brites and plastic bowling balls.  I think it's going to gas everybody on the ship or something.  Who cares?

Kirk tells Nomad that he is a biological unit.  Nomad's entire raison d'etre is killing living things and it didn't bother to check Kirk's pulse?  What adorable innocence in a probe that's killed at least four billion people.

Kirk tells Funnybot that everything that is in error must be destroyed and that Nomad was in error, so Nomad naturally starts smoking like an ashtray at a Dean Martin celebrity roast and Kirk and Spock toss it out the window where it blows up.

At the end, we learn that Uhura is already back to college level and will be back on the job in a week.  Apparently reeducation is a snap for a gal who has nothing on her brain but "hailing frequency open, captain" and pie.  Too bad she'll call the cops on her parents when they show up at her apartment unannounced on Christmas because she'll have no memory whatsoever of them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Amok Time"

At the start of this week's Star Trek, Kirk and Bones are trying to figure out why the Enterprise just got a million dollar phone bill for one of those sexy logic-talk chat lines and why the ship's computer hard drive is loaded up with Vulcan porn.

The homely nurse sees them in the hallway and tells them she's made Spock some pumice soup, since he's spending all his time moaning in his quarters lately for some mysterious reason.  He's also developed acne, gotten all moody, his voice is changing, and he is awkward around girls, but no one can figure out what could possibly be ailing the Vulcan hornball.

Spock has a temper tantrum and throws the soup and the homely nurse out into the hallway, yelling that she can't even cook, which means she has absolutely nothing going for her.  He also tells Kirk that he's a fat, fat fatty, says he hates living on the Enterprise, tells Bones he's a stupid-face, and slams his bedroom door so hard he knocks Great Aunt Tillie's picture in the silver frame off the credenza.

Our little Vulcan is growing up.

Bones says Spock will die if he doesn't get some.  Forget everything bad I've ever said about him: Bones is the best doctor ever.

Chekov's wig looks like it was stitched together using live rats by blind maniacs in a Peruvian insane asylum, but it's still more realistic than his Russian accent.

Spock tells Kirk that he's going through something called "Poon-Fart," which is a special time in a young Vulcan's life when he is ruled by his underpants, and that he's so far gone even the ship's Quasimodo nurse is starting to look not half-bad.  He says marriage is the only way to not go crazy and die, so he must go back to Vulcan and -- employing a 1960s TV euphemism to keep the censors happy -- "take a wife."  Obviously Spock is a lot more naive than we thought, since every guy knows the best way to not "take a wife" ever again is to get married.

I notice that during his whole big Poon-Fart explanation to Kirk, Spock has herpes on his lip, so he's apparently "taken a wife" in at least one spaceport already.

The Enterprise is due at some big ceremony on the other side of the galaxy, but if there's one thing James T. Kirk appreciates more than duty it's some good, old-fashioned alien screwing, so he risks his career in order to change course to fly his randy first officer to the nearest Vulcan whorehouse.

At Vulcan, a dame called Titring appears on the monitor and Spock says she's his wife, so Kirk wasted all that gas, will probably get fired by his boss at Starfleet, and now won't even get sloppy seconds at an alien bachelor party, which is pretty much the only reason he flew all the way out there.

Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to the plywood Vulcan Stonehenge and Spock bangs a dinner gong which is the start of a ceremony called "Canuck Colored Feet."

Apparently Spock isn't technically married to Titring yet, so they must be like one of those couples on Judge Judy who have five kids and have lived together for ten years but never bothered with the piece of paper.  "We don't like to define what we've got, so stop imposing your, like, rules on us, man."

Titring stops the Canuck Colored Feet wedding ceremony because she's been two-timing Spock with a guy with even bigger ears and a Mercedes.  The Vulcan high priestess who was carried in on two sticks by a bunch of gay Vulcan strippers says Spock is in a blood fever called "Plaque Tower," which is pretty much the Earth equivalent of what a guy feels like when he learns his wife is running off with the garage door repairman.

Titring is eyeballing her big-eared paramour, who is wearing a tinfoil apron, a crocheted Dr. Who scarf around his waist and whose name is Stun.  Stun demands to fight Spock, because the men in a purely logical race naturally decide who gets the broad by beating the hell out of each other. 

The old lady priestess hollers and Spock gets a pretty purple scarf tied around his waist.  These people are somehow heralded far and wide as smart and logical even though everything they do is stupid and makes no sense.

Titring chooses Kirk to be her champion to fight Spock because...oh, who cares?  Cut!  Bring in the doubles!

Kirk's and Spock's stunt doubles fight with stick weapons that look like a flattened, sharpened hubcap on one end and part of a punching bag on the other.  The weapons are apparently effective for the sole purpose of ripping Kirk's shirt in the first two seconds of the fight.

 Captain, no means NO!

Spock is so out of his mind with rage over the garage door repairman nailing his fiancee that he nearly murders his innocent best friend.  Hey, somebody check a Vulcan dictionary.  Maybe all these years "logical" has actually meant "retarded."       

The fight to the death is stopped briefly so that Bones can give Kirk an injection that isn't mysterious at all, so don't pay any attention to it.  Also, Spock and Kirk are each given a pair of suspenders to fight with by a guy in a football helmet and tinfoil apron.

Spock's suspenders break the dinner gong, so no delicious pumice soup for the field hands tonight.

Spock shoves Kirk into an artificial barbecue pit and for a few seconds all of Vulcan smells like a pig roast, then he strangles him with his suspenders.

If Vulcan is so hot and the air is so thin, shouldn't the temperature and extra oxygen back on the Enterprise make Spock freeze and high all the time?

Bones pronounces Kirk dead, which is funny because I could have sworn he was in all the movies.  It must have been some other fat guy in a wig.  I always thought Kirk looked a little like that guy T.J. Hooker, so maybe they hired him.

Titring explains why she set this whole thing up, the upshot being that she's a two-timing whore. 

Spock calls Titring a logical slut.  Not exactly in those words, that's the Cliff's Notes version. 

Spock tells off Stun over Titring, telling him that having something isn't the same as wanting it.  I figure Stun will find that out himself when she's nagging his big ears off about not making enough money at the tinfoil apron store and then goes out and hires a garage door repairman who mysteriously takes three months to hang the only door in their one-stall garage.

Up on the Enterprise, Spock is so happy to find that Kirk isn't dead after all that he shouts "Jim!" and jumps up and down on the bed like the Hobbits at the end of The Return of the King.  Then he clams up and gets all cigar store-Indian again.

Bones says the injection he gave Kirk to help in the fight was actually a mickey that knocked him out, which is a brilliant idea except for the fact that Spock was a rampaging maniac at the time with several times the strength of an ordinary human and McCoy's genius idea was to make it so Kirk couldn't fight back.  No, nothing could go wrong with that plan.  I take back what I took back up top about Bones' doctoring skills.

The Enterprise flies off into the sunset having learned the valuable lesson that apparently all they have to do to help Spock the next time he gets horned up is let him murder somebody, which is the main theme of Dating Tips for Vulcans by Ted Bundy.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Thanks to Tractor45 for the great review of A Red Letter Day, The Red Menace #4. What more can a writer say about a review that ends with a line like that other than thank you?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?"

At the start of this week's Star Trek, a new dame lieutenant is wandering around the bridge and apparently we're supposed to imagine she's so sexy that Scotty has to spool his tongue up off the floor every time she and her beehive hairdo sashays by.  She's actually sexy only in the 1960s sense, which is to say that in the far-off future of, say, 2013 she'd be lucky to get as close to Hollywood as a TSA worker at LAX.  She also has a huge pimple on her chin for most of the episode, but unfortunately in the distant future of 1968 Proactiv hasn't been invented, so the makeup department has cleverly concealed it with about eight pounds of pancake makeup.  It's so pointy that if she turns fast, she could pop Uhura.

Lt. Beehive tells Kirk that Polyps 5, the planet they've just checked in on, is stupid.  We learn that, in fact, the entire region of space they're flying through is stupid.  I knew all those episodes of Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother we've been beaming out into space would have to land somewhere.

The Enterprise flies up to Polyps 4, where a giant floating green hand appears and grabs onto the ship. 

Yeah, you read that right.  I'd maybe try to say that a different way, but there's no way to write it without it sounding as stupid as it looks.  Speaking of looking stupid, Chekov's wig looks like the rats it's stitched out of got in a turf war over who owns the sideburns.

A big head floats up on the viewscreen wearing a laurel, but doesn't offer a hearty handshake.  The big floating head tells Kirk to come down to the planet, but Kirk says he's busy having his hair dry cleaned.  I thought they were supposed to be going boldly and exploring strange, new something-or-others.  I figured giant floating heads and huge green hands that can grab onto his ship like it's a Frisbee would qualify.  What, is something good on TV he doesn't want to miss?  I know it can't be Two and a Half Men.  Good Lord, even the commercials for that show are horrible.

The floating head makes the floating green hand shake the ship, and Uhura squeaks like a mouse.  Or maybe that's just a Crips rat in Chekov's wig getting a shiv in the tail.

Kirk beams down to the planet with Bones, Chekov, Lt. Beehive and Scotty.  I'm sure there will be no complications due to the fact that Scotty is sweet on Lt. Beehive, and that the floating head will keep his remaining big green hand to himself.

The floating head is actually a guy who says he's the Greek god Apollo, and to prove he means business he's got his voice permanently set on reverb, which is something all the ancient Greek gods did according to the Iliad. 

Apollo breaks Kirk's communicator by looking at it, because that hasn't happened in two whole planets.  Those things are so unreliable, Kirk would be better off climbing to the top of the nearest mountain and hollering up at the ship.

Apollo starts listing god names from the index of the copy of Bulfinch's Mythology that Gene Roddenberry obviously checked out of the Paramount library for the afternoon. 

Bones surreptitiously examines Apollo with his swirling lipstick while Chekov checks him out with a transistor radio he lifted from Beach Blanket Bingo.

You know, it's a good thing they spoke modern English in ancient Greece, otherwise nobody would understand what anybody else was saying.

In order to demonstrate his godliness, Apollo grows really big using high-tech 1960s TV technology that superimposes one image over another in the most amazing special effect since the Enterprise first bounced up to the tennis ball planet utilizing something the visual effects crew calls "string."

Oh, yeah, like you've never seen a god's junk before.

"You seem wise for a woman," Apollo tells Lt. Beehive, and makes her uniform turn into some backless fiberglass gown.  Instead of screaming bloody murder, she giggles, says, "Oh, it's beautiful," fetches his slippers and cooks him a pot roast.  No, there definitely won't be a problem between him and Scotty. 

Why is it that every female officer on the Enterprise is fiercely loyal to Starfleet only up until some spray-painted god with fat rolls around his waist magically sticks her in some gauzy evening gown, at which point they all immediately turn into blushing Geishas who start shuffling around happily picking up laundry and ironing the togas?  I knew this would happen when they started letting dames into Starfleet, but nobody listened.

They try using phasers on Apollo, but he winks and they stop working too.  Why do they even bother carrying those things down to planets?  I'd put a rock in my holster instead, but if the Federation issued it it'd probably turn to sand before I could throw it at a Nazi on Planet Nazi.

Scotty tries to attack Apollo a couple of times, even though Kirk orders him to keep it in his pants, and he gets smacked and zapped for trying to defend the honor of a tramp who obviously doesn't have any.  Yeah, no guy knows what that's like.  Apollo also strangles Kirk a little, but fades away in embarrassment when he sees Shatner's over-the-top performance. 

Apollo starts listing god names from Bulfinch's again.

Apollo makes out with the dame and either his awesome Olympian powers or the camera angle make the pimple on her chin miraculously disappear.

Every time Apollo strangles Kirk or beats up Scotty, he fades and disappears.  Kirk assumes he's getting weak and has to go off and sit on a battery recharger.  It doesn't even enter into his toupee that Apollo might just be going off to yon porcelain Argo to pincheth a Herculean loaf, forsooth.

Kirk's big idea is that they should all yell mean things at Apollo when he gets back, which is basically the same idea Sir Bedevere had for the French taunters in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and even Graham Chapman thought it was stupid.  Kirk figures Apollo will get weak and they can kick him in the crotch or something and then run into outer space and climb in an open window on the Enterprise.  I mean, I figure that must be his plan since Apollo is still in control of the ship, the phasers, the communicators, and everything on the planet.

As stupid plans go, this one would probably take the blue ribbon at the state fair.  I'd think the amount of effort Apollo would have to expend on four hecklers would be insignificant compared to whatever juice he's putting out to hold a starship in orbit in the grip of a giant green floating hand.  Charlie Callas put up with worse from the front row of the Sands on any given Saturday night, circa 1975.

Apollo shows up from his nap, and Kirk, Bones, Scotty and Chekov start yelling mean things at him.  He's about to smite the crap out of them, but before he can turn them into four burned patches and two smoking wigs on the ground, Lt. Beehive intervenes.  She insists that Apollo is kind.  Let's take stock, shall we?  He rattled a ship full of people like dice in a plastic Yahtzee cup, strangled Kirk, beat the crap out of and electrocuted Scotty, is holding the landing party hostage and is threatening to kidnap and enslave the entire crew of the Enterprise.  Yeah, he's a real sweetheart.  Maybe you should lay off the ambrosia, zit-face.

The pimple chick talks in that 1960s sexy way that isn't sexy at all, like that fat bleached broad singing "happy birthday, Mr. President."  She insists that she loves Apollo.  Yeah, they've been down on the planet for about 20 minutes, so it's about nineteen and a half minutes past Stockholm Syndrome setting in for your average female Starfleet officer.  If she can't have Apollo, maybe she can get into one of those correspondence romances with a nice serial killer on death row.

Meanwhile, Mr. Spock is upstairs figuring out a way to make a hole in the giant hand that's holding onto the ship.  Once he clips its fingernails and phasers a little stigmata, he's able to holler down to Kirk.

Kirk tells Lt. Beehive to be mean to Apollo, and she does in spite of all the sweaty Harlequin Romance bosom-heaving she's been getting up to with him.  Apollo gets so mad that he shows her some stock footage of lightning with his floating head superimposed on it to show her what she's missing out on.

While Apollo is distracted threading the projector to run some stock footage of a blizzard tying up traffic in downtown Chicago, Spock shoots Apollo's gazebo.  The gazebo glows and then turns into Styrofoam rubble, and Apollo gets so mad that he holds his hand to his chest like Fred Sanford and tells Hera and Elizabeth that he's a-comin'.

You'd think a guy who patiently waited on an unrealistic outdoor set with felt grass for 5000 years for some humans to finally fly out and find him wouldn't give up so easily after meeting only five people out of untold billions for a half-hour.  I've had longer conversations with strangers in doctors' waiting rooms.  And if he took just two seconds for a little introspection he'd maybe realize he was the one who was being a big jerkwad, what with all the strangling and giant, ship-fondling green hands.  Instead, he fades away and dies, leaving nothing behind but Roddenberry's copy of Bulfinch's and an episode title which I'm sure is supposed to be clever but which I don't know what the crap they're even talking about.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

After another nightmarish day of toiling in a yard that somehow went jungle over the summer...sore, sweaty,'s nice to stumble in from working well into the dark of night to find this warming little ray of light.
Click here to go to Reader's Favorite review of Royal Flush.

Monday, October 7, 2013

On the Government Shut-down

I still don't get how you close a mountain. Hasn't a government that thinks it can close a mountain -- and does -- gotten just a smidge too big for its britches? I have this image of a Terry Gilliam cartoon where some guy in a trench coat unplugs the Rockies from the horizon, sticks them in a briefcase and walks off grunting angrily. When real life has become a Terry Gilliam cartoon, something is desperately, fundamentally wrong with real life.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

On Horror Movies...

I don't do horror movies. While I wholeheartedly approve of teenagers being hacked to pieces by masked maniacs, I find the actual eviscerating depressing to watch. I DO sometimes do comic horror movies, although rarely and I hadn't seen a good one in many years. (One of my favorites from years ago was Fright Night, made on the cheap but clever and a lot of fun with a great performance by Roddy MacDowell.) If anyone cares, I recommend Zombieland, which is a couple of years old but which I only just recently saw. A smart movie on a shoestring budget, and not too gory after the first ten minutes or so, once the premise has been established.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Space Seed"

At the start of this week's Star Trek, the Enterprise finds an old derelict ship from the 1990s adrift in space.  You remember all those spaceships we were always launching out hither and yon in the Nineties.  We had plenty of time for space exploration in that very serious decade because it's not like we were busy with the O.J. trial hosted by Judge Ito, poor little JonBenet Ramsey, and brushing the luxurious fringe of hair on our Slobodan Milosevic dolls.

We're told that the last world war ever was also apparently in the Nineties, which is nice because the one I figured would be along any day now apparently never materializes.  It's funny that I don't recall the world war we had in the 1990s, because that's the sort of thing I usually remember.  Or maybe I was distracted by all the Lady Di coverage.  She was a candle in the wind, you know. 

Kirk orders historian Lt. MacGyver to come over to the derelict ship, and she comes over after she builds her own transporter from two rubber bands and a discarded popsicle stick.

The floating ship is called the Botany Bay, and there's a frozen chick onboard wrapped in bubble wrap so that she doesn't get damaged during shipping. 

We learn that 2018 was when warp travel will be invented, and this sentence is grammatically correct even though it isn't.

There are other people on the Botany Bay wrapped in bubble wrap, and the landing party finds Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island in one of the giant fish tanks but, sadly, Tattoo isn't in a little fishbowl on the floor next to him.

Ricardo Montalban is Mexican, and historian Lt. MacGyver identifies him as Indian and says that Sikhs were the best warriors of that age, proving in the first five minutes of the show that history isn't really her strong suit.  Maybe she'll be better at...oh, I don't know -- just off the top of my head -- mutiny, maybe?  We'll just have to wait and see.

Lt. MacGyver, who has cut off her 1980s mullet, says that Ricardo Montalban is "magnificent" and drools all over his fish tank. No, she definitely won't be a problem later on.

Ricardo Montalban actually was magnificent.  He sent me a whole bunch of autographs to give to family and friends just before Christmas many years ago.  This doesn't have anything to do with this week's episode, he was just a very nice man.

Scotty does a scan and says that 72 of the people are alive and that 30 are women.  What the crap difference does that make?  Did he count 60 knobs and divide by two?

Ricardo Montalban, who is Mexican, is named Khan and apparently isn't Mexican after all.  Boy, is my face is red, which means Lt. MacGyver would probably identify pasty Irish me as an Apache.  How, kemosabe.

Khan is brought over to sickbay on the Enterprise where Bones has a whole bunch of butcher knives hanging all over the wall.  I'm not sure why, since the only surgery he ever seems to do involves floating a transistor radio over a patient's chest while it goes woobidy-woobidy-woobidy.  (The transistor radio, not the patient.)  Khan wakes up and grabs one of the convenient knives hanging on the wall and threatens Bones with it.  I never saw that coming.

Kirk comes in after Khan doesn't O.J. Bones, but Khan won't answer questions because he says he's too sleepy.  So Kirk leaves him to nap, but not before opening up the ship's library to him and letting him read every possible technical manual and yellow schematic cracker he can lay his hands on, including How to Take Over Starships for Megalomaniacal Dummies.  Just like with the knives hanging on the wall in sickbay, I see no problems that could possibly come of this.

Bones says that Kirk felt Khan's magnetism.  I hope that doesn't mean what I think it means, or hornball Kirk finally has crossed the final frontier.

In Star Trek in 1993, genetically superior supermen seized power in forty nations.  In real life in 1993, flabby genetic messes Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and Helmut Kohl were busy seizing interns, booze bottles, loose cash, and everything they could grab from the dessert trolley.

That history dame shows up in sickbay and brings her sexy Lauren Bacall lighting with her.  Khan fusses with her hair and says it should be "soft, natural, simple."  Then he teases it, sets it and sticks her under the hair dryer for forty minutes while he does her nails and dishes all the latest hot celeb gossip.

An interesting monster should have an interesting hairdo.

Khan makes out with MacGyver then goes to a party where he drinks some blue booze and lets it slip to everybody that he's a maniacal, bloodthirsty dictator from Earth's history.  In blue booze, veritas.

Back in his quarters, Khan tosses lady MacGyver around, squeezes her hand and tells her he's going to take over the ship.  She says okay, which is exactly why I always say dames should be home in the kitchen baking futuristic pies and not serving in Starfleet.  I'm calling my space congressman.

Kirk looks at Khan's yearbook photo, or maybe it's his mugshot from when he was picked up for public urination on West Cow Street in New Delhi after punching that snake charmer in the throat.

Apparently from 1992 to 1994 Khan controlled one-quarter of the Earth.  You now, I really swear I'd remember all this.  Or maybe I was just too wrapped up in who killed Laura Palmer to have paid enough attention to all these big world events.

There are no clothes on the entire Enterprise other than Starfleet uniforms, so they stick Khan in one even though he came aboard wearing his own clothes.  It's just like how in real life the Navy is always picking up those bedraggled guys with the long beards on the homemade rafts that look like they've escaped from a Sergio Aragones comic in Mad magazine and dressing them up like Admiral Nimitz. 

They also put only one balding guard outside Hitler's door, so naturally the story ends here because Khan clearly will be stuck inside for the rest of the episode because how on earth could a brilliant genetic superman beat the crap out of Elmer Fudd and escape?

Uhura REALLY should wear pants.

In a shocking plot twist, Khan escapes and takes over the ship.  He shuts off all the power to the bridge, and since it didn't occur to Starfleet's genius engineers to install an emergency beamer, spiral staircase or even a rope ladder even though the ship gets taken over and the bridge locked up every third episode, Kirk and everybody else passes out.

Khan tells Spock and all the others to join him, and to prove he means business he sticks Kirk in the washing machine.

Everybody is in a conference room watching Kirk on the rinse cycle on TV, and the history dame says she doesn't like that program and since Khan won't give her the remote control to switch over to a Valerie Bertinelli movie on Lifetime, she says she's going to stay with her mother and leaves.  Of course brilliant Khan doesn't suspect that she ran out of the room at that precise moment in order to save Kirk before the spin cycle kicks in, because he implicitly trusts her since it's not like she arbitrarily switched loyalties to anybody else in the past forty-five minutes.

The TV in the conference room mysteriously switches off a minute after history dame MacGyver leaves the room, but no one finds it suspicious because they are so distracted by Uhura's hammy, horribly acted overreaction to Khan's announcement that Kirk is dead, which is probably the absolute worst bit of acting in the entire history of the Star Trek franchise including everything from the guy who played the robot every time he tried to act like anything other than a robot in the New Generation series.   

The dame lets Kirk out of the washing machine and he puts a stink bomb in the vents, and everybody passes out except Scotty, Spock and Khan.  So with an escaped lunatic running around the ship naturally Scotty announces to Spock over the supermarket intercom that store manager Kirk is on his way to the produce department to grab the Mexican Sikh who's eating all the grapes without paying for them.

In engineering, Khan jumps out and tells Kirk that he has five times Kirk's strength.  He takes Kirk's phaser and crushes it in his bare hands, proving how crazy he really is since a genuine Original Series phaser would bring in a fortune on eBay.

Kirk's and Khan's stunt doubles fight, and Kirk's stunt double would surely have lost if not for the fact that engineering consoles in the future have enormous plastic clubs built into them that you can pull out and beat the hell out of people with, so at least Starfleet's engineers got one thing right. 

Kirk decides to maroon Khan and his followers, including the mutinous history chick who I'm not sure is that other MacGyver after all, on a planet where they can live in the dust storms and get bugs in their ears, and Khan says that'd be just swell.  Also, Scotty's accent briefly disappears.  Maybe he was thinking back to the thirty unconscious dames he was fondling as he was counting all sixty of them back at the beginning of the episode.

Spock says it would be interesting to revisit Khan's new planet in another 100 years.  Say, this gives me an idea.  This was a pretty okay episode.  If they ever decide to make Star Trek movies in the way-off distant future of the 1980s, they could make a movie sequel of this one episode and then milk all the various plot elements from that sequel to death from about 1994 to 2013 and probably beyond, but with each subsequent entry making less sense, utilizing increasingly louder explosions and marginalizing Dr. McCoy's character so they can pack in more nuded-up broads.  That'd be cool, dude.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Devil in the Dark"

This week's Star Trek begins on planet Janice 6, where a bunch of miners in multicolored jumpsuits are afraid to go to bed because a scary monster might eat them.

Fifty miners have already been killed according to a New York gangster who Desilu Productions apparently brought over to work on Star Trek after The Untouchables went off the air.  "Youse tink dat monster's gonna get a piece-a dis?" the guy asks.  Then he guzzles some hooch and makes time with some floozy B-girl, I tells ya.

The head of the Janice 6 mining facility says wiseguy guards have to be stationed around the joint so's to keep them Feds away from this here loot.  "Especially that no-good G-man Ness, see?" he sneers, all tough guy-like

The minute he's left alone, the goombah on guard duty gets attacked by a raging blancmange that melts him into nothing but a steaming silhouette on the floor.  It's a sad loss to henchmankind, but at least it'll be easy for the coppers to stick down some tape around the body.

The Enterprise shows up, and Kirk says Janice 6 has important per diem deposits.  It is never explained through the whole episode what exactly per diem is or what its uses are.  The miners on Janice 6 might as well be digging for deposits of widgets, veeblefetzers or MacGuffins.

The head of Janice 6 is named Van de Kamp, but he doesn't offer to put any fish sticks in anyone's mouth, which upsets Sulu for some reason so he hides in his cabin and sulks for the whole episode.  Van de Kamp tells Kirk that equipment has been burned, men melted, women stampeded and cattle raped.

Bones checks the body of the gangster who was killed in the opening act and says he looks like he was thrown in acid, kind of like Tommy Lee Jones.

Spock examines the rubber kickball on the head guy's desk, and then the lights blink.  The monster that excretes acid has sabotaged the reactor room and stolen the giant spark plug that makes the whole planet run.  How a monster understood exactly what part to unplug to get the lawn mower to stop working is left for the imagination of the viewer.  I'm too busy, however, imagining how it managed to haul the thing off in one piece without melting it, since it pisses acid and has no hands, teeth or pockets to carry the thing in.

Spock speculates that the monster might be Styrofoam and not carbon-based, and Bones pooh-poohs the fanciful notion.  I don't know why.  Half the universe looks like it's made of Styrofoam, if the cave they're standing in and every rock that has ever gotten tossed at Kirk on every planet they've landed on is any indication.  According to Star Trek, the Milky Way Galaxy is practically one giant McDLT container.

A whole squad of Red Shirts beams down to the planet.  I'm sure they'll all be just fine, but maybe it'd be a good idea for them to make sure their life insurance is paid up.

Red shirt down!  Red shirt down!  Oh, the humanity!

I won't ask you men to do anything I wouldn't do, except die horribly one at a time instead of myself and Mr. Spock as the crisis escalates.

The fact that a Red Shirt was killed two seconds after arriving on the planet was a complete shock.  I was hoping Crewman #6 would become a regular member of the crew, laughing it up with Chekov and Sulu on the bridge and appearing in all six movies, with one fan-pleasing guest appearance on The New Generation TV show with the bald English captain who has a French name for some reason. 

The Red Shirt didn't even fire when the blancmange attacked.  Kids raised on video games are quicker on the draw than Starfleet's best space soldiers.

We finally see the blancmange monster, and it looks like a giant dirty floor mop.  Kirk and Spock shoot it, and it Swiffers itself the hell out of there.

Spock determines that there is only one of the Swiffers tunneling around the planet, and he says it would be a crime to kill the last of a species.  So let me get this straight.  If Earth is wiped out and somehow I'm the last human in the universe, I'd get to rack up a greater body count than Ted Bundy and Mr. Science Genius would say strapping me in the electric chair would be "a crime?"  I wonder if there was a time travel episode that never aired that put this dummy and his redefinition of the word "crime" with the rest of the eleven pinheads on the O.J. jury. 

Kirk wants to send Spock off to help Scotty work on patching the hole where the spark plug goes.  He says it's too much of a risk for the Enterprise to lose both its captain and first officer if the monster attacks.  Spock says the odds of both he and Kirk being killed are over 2000 to 1 against.  Not if you're standing next to each other, Science Officer Stupid.  If the glove don't fit, you must be a moron.

All this time they assume the missing piece of the reactor is still in one piece and they'll be able to pick it up and bring it back.  I have no idea why.  I'd have figured that a monster that has murdered more than fifty people and excretes acid wouldn't think twice about taking the big spark plug out behind a Dumpster and taking a leak on it.

Kirk and Spock separate and the giant Swiffer knocks the Styrofoam ceiling down on Kirk and kicks a couple of purple kickballs around in the process.  This is interesting, since later on we find out that the kickballs are its eggs that it is protecting by killing people and stealing their spark plugs.  It protects them, apparently, by knocking ceilings down on top of them and kicking them all around the room.  The last Swiffer in the universe has the maternal instinct of that chick who drove her kids in the lake.

Spock runs in the room and offers to mind-meld with the huge filthy mop stinking up the floor.  He yells, "Oh, the pain!  The pain!" in the lousiest impersonation of Dr. Smith I've ever seen.  Then the Swiffer urinates "NO KILL!" on the wall, which sounds impressive but since it pees acid it's pretty much just writing its name in the snow.

Speaking of its name, it calls itself a Horton, but I don't know if it hears any Whos.  It says it slaughtered all those innocent men because it was protecting its kickballs which, like I said, are actually eggs.  Since it's intelligent and understands English, couldn't it have just pissed all that on the wall a week ago and saved everybody a lot of trouble, particularly the half-a-hundred men it murdered?

The Red Shirts who weren't melted to puddles get the crap beaten out of them by miners with clubs, since the genius miners think that shooting the thing with lasers didn't hurt it but hitting a living rock with a big stick might.  Has someone checked to see if the canary is dead in its cage, because I think there's a whole bunch of moron gas venting out in the per diem chamber.

Kirk gets the miners to agree to let the million kickballs hatch into Swiffers, even though just one of the things killed fifty of them.  The Horton thinks this is a swell deal and promises that it and its kids won't kill anybody else, honest Injun, as it looks around real shifty-like and crosses some of its dirty mop fringes behind its back, so Kirk flies away because nothing else could possibly go wrong.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Court Martial"

On this week's Perry Mason, the tubby barrister defends a chubby starship captain in a thrilling outer space court martial whodunnit.  Will Perry get James T. Kirk off?  If not, he'll be the only one in Star Trek history who doesn't.  By Erle Stanley Gardner, Inc.

The excitement beings when the Enterprise pulls into a service station to get some dents pulled out of the bumper after passing through an ion storm, which is a phenomenon that occurs when you accidentally leave on syndicated rerun station "Ion Television" too long and all those crummy episodes of Ghost Whisperer and Without a Trace get broadcast out into space.

For this single Star Trek episode only there is some special pod in the ship that has never been there before and never will be again which monitors episodes of Ghost Whisperer for Kirk, probably because of the big rack on the dame who stars in it.  Kirk says to the commodore on the base where he's parked the Enterprise that the ship went on red alert and he had to jettison the pod with his TiVo and Lt. Albert Finney still aboard, so he missed the season ending cliffhanger that had something to do with a spooky ghost and the broad with the big knobs running around in a nightie.

The commodore says that Kirk jettisoned the pod not during a red alert, but during a yellow alert, and so he puts Kirk on trial for killing Albert Finney and losing all those episodes of Ghost Whisperer, including the one the commodore really wanted to see with the spooky ghost where the main broad with the big knobs was running around in a nightie, but not the one I mentioned before, a different one.

Finney's daughter yells that Kirk is a murderer while wearing a miniskirt made of strips of torn Reynold's Wrap.

A man walks into a bar with a duck on his head.  The man is William Shatner and the duck turns out to be his wig. 

Some guys in the bar are mean to Kirk, so he races from the room with his mascara running just as a sexy version of the Star Trek theme starts to play.  A dame wearing green curtains and stained glass earrings walks in accompanied by the sexy music, and Bones -- thinking he's got it made because Captain Sexual Compulsive isn't there -- tries to pitch some woo.

Later on, the dame gives Kirk all kinds of legal advice.  Then she tells him at the end that she's going to be the prosecutor in his case, so if Kirk isn't a complete imbecile he'll ignore her advice and insist she be removed from the trial and possibly disbarred.  Instead, the defendant takes the advice of the prosecuting council. 

Kirk comes back to his apartment, which is strange because he's got a ship up there with his own bed that he can go to.  Or maybe it's finally reached maximum capacity of yeomen with beehive hairdos.  Instead of the usual sexy dame waiting for him, there's an ugly old man with a bunch of books.  For the love of God, don't let one of them be the Kama Sutra.

The old man is Kirk's lawyer, and he says he prefers books to the Lite-Brite that most outer space lawyers use.  I can understand why, since it seems like it would be hard to look up Marbury v. Madison on a computer that is just a bunch of blinking lights and has no monitor.

In court, the com-pu-tore! reads all the charges and when it's finished Kirk says "not guilty" and there's a great big dramatic chord like it was unexpected.  I can see why the soundtrack would get all excited.  I agree.  I mean, I was sure he was going to say guilty and spend the rest of the series making little moon rocks out of big moon rocks in space jail.  What a shocking plot twist.

Kirk wears a dazzling Christmas tree brooch and a ridiculous society dame hat to impress the jury. 

Wait a second. 

Never mind.  That last thing was his wig.

The sexy prosecutor asks the Enterprise personnel officer if they're talking about the "Captain Kirk who sits in this courtroom," and the personnel officer has to look all round to make sure it's the same one.  What, she didn't notice her tubby captain sitting there in his pretty Christmas tree brooch when she walked through the shushing door?  There are only seven people on that ship who manage to not get killed week after week, you'd think Julie the cruise director would have an easy job keeping track.

The footage played in the courtroom shows different angles on the bridge of the Enterprise, almost like it's from a TV show.  For some reason, despite all the pans and close-ups and cuts and different camera angles, it doesn't have any footage at all of anywhere else on the ship other than the bridge, including this super-important pod Albert Finney was in that was never used before or after this episode.
The commodore says that we've listened to three witnesses and that in "neither" case did something or other blah-blah.  I lost interest in whatever he was talking about after the bad grammar.  "Neither" is two people, not three, Commodore Stupid.

According to this, you are guilty of negligence.  Also, that the fine people at Keebler are guilty of deliciousness.  New Keebler Cheezie Crackers...great for family, friends and fun!

Kirk's lawyer makes an impassioned TV lawyer plea about Kirk being able to face his accuser, which in this case is the computer on the Enterprise.  He mentions the Magna Carta, the U.S. Constitution, the Martian Bill of Rights and the Flimflammer Incorporations of Poopnagle 7.  I hope those last two things last longer than the first two did.

Spock plays chess with the computer to prove that it's broken in order to demonstrate that the computer can't be trusted at Kirk's trial.  He's figured out that if it's been tampered with, it won't play chess too good no more.  Why?  Why would tampering manifest in, of all things, chess?  If the com-pu-tore! runs everything on the ship, and if tampering with the computer impacts the entire system, wouldn't the doors open wrong and all the toast burn?  Everyone on that ship uses computers for stuff all day every day.  Wouldn't somebody have noticed things were out of whack?  I mean, obviously not Julie the personnel director, who is so coked-up she doesn't recognize her own captain, but somebody.

Kirk's lawyer assumes Albert Finney is still alive.  I'm not so sure, because I don't think he's been in anything since Wolfen.

(Hey, if Finney was in this pod, couldn't Kirk have had him beamed him out?  Wait, that makes sense.  Forget I said it.)

It seems a pretty big leap to go from a com-pu-tore that can't play chess to Albert Finney still being alive, but I guess they got a moron jury to believe O.J. cut his hand chipping golf balls in the dark, so why not?

The whole party moves up to the Enterprise, and Bones runs a Mr. Microphone across everybody's chest.  "Hey, good lookin'!  We'll be back to pick you up later!"  (This dated reference would be absolutely hilarious if this were still 1994.)

The Mr. Microphone shuts off heartbeats one at a time, which would be mass-murder except it only does it on the Enterprise's Bose speakers, so Bones won't be on trial next week.

There is one heartbeat left on the ship once Bones is finished, and they realize it must be Albert Finney, so Kirk runs downstairs in his slippers and bathrobe to shoot the prowler.  In the meantime, Kirk's lawyer and Albert Finney's daughter (who had been sitting in court) have suddenly disappeared entirely from the story for some reason, and they never appear again for the rest of the episode.  Someone must have noticed in post-production, and so some bizarre narration for Kirk has been tacked on to say that they ran off together to start a mushroom farm on Uranus.  Yes, this is a lie, but it makes exactly as much sense as the actual narration.

(Hey, if Finney is hiding down in engineering, can't Spock just beam him out?  Wait, that makes sense.  Forget I said it.)

Finney raves on the intercom that he has rigged the ship to crash, so Spock tries to get the commodore and the rest of the judges off the bridge and back down to the planet.  The commodore says that court is still in session.  It's over, you moron, since it was a murder trial and the "murdered" guy is still alive, ranting like a madman, and is about to murder you and a whole bunch of other people.  Apparently neither of those three things am being reason for Commodore Stupid to be leaving.

Down in the engine room, the guy playing Albert Finney is such a wild-eyed loon that Bones should be put on trial after all for not recognizing that one of the ship's crew was a crazy, sweating, bug-eyed, psycho maniac.

Fight!  Fight!  Fight!  Fight!

Kirk rips his shirt again.  At this point I think those things must be made of paper.  He also wins because Scotty has very conveniently left a giant wrench lying out for Kirk to beat some guy senseless with again.

There is another bizarre bit of voice-over narration in which Kirk tells the audience that Albert Finney told him how he sabotaged the ship, so Kirk can save it.  I guess it's cheaper and less time consuming than filming the actual scene where this takes place.  Maybe next week they can just have Shatner and his ego sit in a chair and read the whole script at us.

There is no explanation for why a psychotic who held a grudge against Kirk for something that happened years ago and came up with an incredibly elaborate scheme for revenge that included multiple murders, the destruction of a starship and his own suicide would abruptly change his mind and tell Kirk everything he needs to know to save the ship.  Oh.  I guess that's why they couldn't film that scene.

Kirk saves the Enterprise, and as a reward at the end gets to make out with the lawyer on the bridge.  Thank God it's not the old buzzard.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Return of the Archons"

This week's Star Trek starts with a dream sequence in which Sulu is running down the street wearing pantaloons while getting chased by faceless men with large poles.  I don't think we need to bother paging Dr. Freud for this one.

The dream sequence turns out to be really happening, but this is still 1960s TV so the guys with the poles who are dressed as ominous monks merely shoot fairy dust from the ends of their sticks directly into Sulu's face, after which he gets beamed up to the Enterprise with a look of utter bliss on his face.  There really ain't a lot of subtext here, people.

Sulu is so happy from his large pole adventure with the anonymous, faceless men down on the planet, that even he-man Kirk is intrigued, so he, Spock, McCoy and a couple of expendable guys beam down wearing Gunsmoke cowboy costumes.  I just thank God he left the ass-less chaps back on the ship.

Actually, I'm not sure at first what Spock is wearing, since the Enterprise tailor once again cleverly disguised the first officer's pointy ears by tossing a blanket over his head, so it's possible he's dressed as a cop or a construction worker.  It's fun to stay at the NCC-1701!

Why Kirk thinks it's a brilliant idea to take the only officer on his entire ship who looks like an alien down to a planet of people who look like humans and thinks yet again that a blanket tossed over him is a brilliant disguise is a topic once more left unexplored.  I mean, one gust of wind and the jig is up, stupid.

The planet is conveniently on 24-hour time, which is a lifesaver because Kirk doesn't have to reset his watch.  It also has an even more convenient analog clock hanging in the planet's town square, which people point to ominously and tell the new arrivals -- including the weirdo draped in a blanket -- that it's "festival."  The clock strikes six and everybody starts abusing and raping women and throwing rocks.  I now understand that "festival" has been going on in the Mideast for years.

I'd figure Kirk would be right at home with at least one major part of festival, but instead of swinging his pants over his head and shouting "yee-haw!," he and his pals take refuge in a Paramount backlot apartment building where a creepy old man accuses them of disobeying the will of Allah by not running around like maniacs and killing people outside.

Did I say Allah?  I meant Lando.

Lando is apparently the guy who runs the whole planet, so the fact that he was running only Cloud City fifteen years later means that at some point he was demoted.

The creepy old man runs out to obviously rat out Kirk and co.  First off, how does a geriatric negotiate the planet-wide riot that's going on outside?  Second, why doesn't Kirk just bash him over the head with a rock and say it was a festival-related fatality?  At the very least have the old buzzard beamed over to a desert island until they can sort out whatever is going on down there.  Just a little sci-fi tip: if you have the opportunity and the means to beam screeching Donald Sutherland to an uninhabited atoll before he can rat you out to the other pod people, do it.

A couple of monks with big sticks arrive and zap an old man, but Kirk decides he isn't into that.

Kirk and the rest escape the horny monks and hide in the same secret dungeon they hide in every week.  Not only is it clearly the one from the spooky Halloween episode with the giant pussycat, they even redress the set and reuse it later in this exact same episode.  Maybe the set people blew their budget on the weed they bought from the writers.

Up in space, the Enterprise is suddenly getting pulled down to the planet and Scotty doesn't have a clue what to do.  I'd say locate the source and shoot it with those precise laser-beam weapons, but Scotty is too busy dramatically running around the bridge and looking for a Ring-Ding that rolled behind a console to think of that.

Down in the painted-plywood dungeon, Lando shows up looking way fruitier than he did in Cloud City.  He's still partial to capes, though.

Lando is a floating ghost with hair like Betty White's.  He blows a dog whistle and everybody passes out, but William Shatner's contract says he's so heroic that he gets to pass out last.  (Also, that he's first in line at the craft services table, although I don't blame him there because if he let Uhura and Scotty go first there'd be no doughnuts left.)


Kirk is also so completely heroic that he's first to wake up in the different plywood jail cell (which is the same plywood jail cell with a couple of different walls) after the commercial break.  So Spock, who is supposed to be physically superior to humans, is first to get knocked out but is not the first to wake up.  Apparently all you need to take over Vulcan is a referee's whistle and a very big megaphone.

Bones shows up, and he's been turned into a blissed-out zombie by the pervert monks, but Spock either doesn't remember that he used a mind-meld to fix the screwed-up brain of a mental patient a couple of weeks ago, or he conveniently forgets because of all the "pointed-eared," "green-blooded" racist comments he's had to put up with from Dr. Jerkwad all these years.

Kirk gets taken to be brainwashed next, and this week's script says that he can't beat up two slow-moving monks whose only weapons are a pair of unwieldy sticks, so he doesn't even try.

Spock gets taken after Kirk appears to have been zombie-fied, and I wonder why these guys are all just lining up like kids at a cotton candy machine to get brainwashed and aren't getting dragged kicking and screaming to the brainwashing booth.  Even wimp me would have kicked a monk in the crotch and made a run for it.  

Kirk wasn't brainwashed after all.  Surprise!

A guy in the orange Bea Arthur bathrobe who is supposed to be running the brainwasher sets the dial on low, so Kirk's brain is safe and only his toupee gets lightly rinsed.  Back in the jail cell, he and Spock plot their brilliant plot to overthrow Lando two inches away from McCoy who, recall, is brainwashed as all get-out.  Personally, I would have used the Vulcan nerve-pinch to put the spy in the lifeboat to sleep so that I could plot my escape in private, but maybe that's why I don't command my own starship.  Also, because starships are pretend, a fact Sulu still didn't understand twenty years later when he used to complain that Shatner was keeping him from getting his own ship.  (I wish I was kidding about that.  I'm not.)

The guy in Bea Arthur's orange bathrobe, Mr. Bea Ex Machina, takes Kirk and Spock to fruity Lando's special secret room, and they blast a hole through the wall and find out that Lando is really a computer running the whole planet. So on a huge planet, they just happened to beam down to the exact little town where the computer is.  What are the odds?  Actually, remarkably good, since I can remember offhand there were at least two other Star Trek episodes where the exact same thing happens.  Wait, there was the Indian one where Kirk got amnesia, too.  Make that three.

Fruity Ghost-Lando floats in the room and makes their phasers stop working, because that hadn't magically happened yet.  Why do they even bother to bring those things?  After the second time some alien waved his hand and made mine stop working, I'd leave it on the ship and just bring a big club down with me.

A couple of monks in bathrobes run in, and Kirk forgets that his phaser was broken by the omnipotent, 6,000 year old computer two seconds ago and threatens them with it.

Hey, if this computer is 6,000 years old, who maintained it all those years?  Or maybe it's one of those magic computers that never needs a Windows mind-control-upgrade and it's living in a magic room where the air conditioning never breaks and there's no dust and humidity.

Kirk outsmarts the magic computer by asking it if the chicken or the egg came first and if a tree fell on Tampax 12 and no one was around to hear it would it make a sound?  The computer starts smoking like crazy.  Then it starts drinking heavily and gets into a fatal car accident on the way home.

The entire planet is liberated from six millennia of captivity, so Kirk leaves one crummy sociologist behind to run the joint because everyone knows sociology is a precise science and the guys who get degrees in it aren't weirdos with no grasp on how the real world works.

Back on the bridge, Spock says that people have longed for a planet as peaceful and secure as Lando's, apparently forgetting all about the nightly six o'clock rape-and-murder-fest, but that's okay because after the first act the writers forgot all about it too.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday"

On this week's I Dream of Jeannie, Jeannie's meddling nearly gets Tony and Roger in dutch with Dr. Bellows when she snorts a line of pepper and accidentally sneezes a spaceship over from a struggling NBC sci-fi show!

What, you mean this is really Star Trek and those sitcom-looking Air Force sets and uniforms are supposed to be for real?  Shatner's hair is more believable.

It's 1967 on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, so those miniskirts and beehive hairdos suddenly make a lot more sense.  Kirk says in the narration that they ran into a black star that threw them back in time.  I wonder if it was Wesley Snipes, because now they can tell him to pay his taxes.

Isn't it interesting that they just happened to get tossed back in time to the exact year the show was on the air?  It's sort of like in that other episode where they got tossed back in time to the exact year the show was on the air.  Not to be confused with the movie they made twenty years later where they got tossed back in time to the exact year that the movie was released.  Maybe time isn't linear at all, maybe it has to do with complicated stuff like the copyright dates that appear at the end of our closing credits.  "Y'all come back now, y'hear?" suddenly sounds a lot more sinister.

The sitcom Air Force sends a jet up to look at the spaceship that is wobbling around in Earth's atmosphere like a rubber ducky getting splashed around in a bathtub and not like it weighs 500 million billion tons.  And that's just Uhura and Scotty.

Kirk has a tractor beam lock on the plane which is somehow able to follow a ship that can travel faster than the speed of light.  The plane breaks apart, so naturally rather than beam the rescued pilot directly to an unpopulated stretch of interstate down on Earth and let everybody down there figure it out, they beam him to the Enterprise.  Jeannie!

The sitcom Air Force pilot arrives in the beamer room standing up.  Which means the beamer can take you if you're sitting down and straighten you up in transit, but it still can't see when there's an escaped lunatic hiding in a box like in that other episode where an escaped lunatic was hiding in a box.

Spock says that they have to keep the sitcom pilot there.  He says that the glimpse of the future they've given the guy means that he could manipulate stocks, industries and nations.  And exactly how is he going to do all that from one elevator ride?  If I get taken aboard a spaceship that's been tossed back in time from two hundred years in the future and they make me ride up and down in their elevator for a whole day, how exactly is that going to tell me what pony to bet on in the 4th at Santa Anita a week from Tuesday?  Did this junk science officer actually study anything on that famous logic planet, or is Vulcan populated by a bunch of morons everyone assumes are smart because they don't use contractions and have deep cigarette voices?

A sexy lady computer voice embarrasses Kirk in front of the sitcom Air Force pilot, and he says that they put in for a computer overhaul on a planet dominated by sexy dames who took three weeks to break the computers.  So apparently at no point during the overhaul did he or his computer-genius first officer bother to switch on Windows to see what exactly the alien mechanic dames were doing.  Shouldn't Kirk have gone into the garage at least once to shake his fist at the alien dames in their greasy overalls and shout that it's taking too long, the bill is outrageous, that ding wasn't on the Enterprise's rear quarter panel when he brought it in, and that somebody screwed around with all the radio preset buttons? 

If it's going to take three weeks to get some chicks to wreck your old computers, it would probably be easier and more cost effective to just swing by Best Buy and pick up some new ones.  Gene Roddenberry's miraculous vision of a spendaholic government blowing through tax dollars like drunken maniacs was only two hundred years off.  Maybe the Federation can borrow a few quadrillion from the Chinese Klingons and stick the 24th Century with the bill.

Kirk allows a prisoner to wander freely around his ship, and for the millionth time the prisoner beats up a guard and steals his gun.  At this point they should probably just give every prisoner they beam aboard a lei, a coupon for one complimentary blue drink, and a phaser.  They're going to get them anyway, and it'd cut down on all those guards staggering into the infirmary with Karate Chop Neck every week.  (So many of our returning Starfleet veterans suffer in silence from moderate to severe KCN.  Won't you give generously to the Karate Chop Neck Foundation today?)

Spock, who was so worried about an elevator ride changing the future, tells the Air Force guy that they have to return him to Earth because he will one day have a son who's going to be important.  It seems to me that this information has the potential to change the future infinitely more than one elevator ride, but my ears are round on the top and I don't smoke, so what do I know?

So as to be completely inconspicuous, Kirk and Sulu beam down to an Air Force records room wearing yellow pajamas.

We're told that there was recording equipment on the plane that got blowed up in the tractor beam, so the captain of the starship Enterprise, which is in a super-major crisis because it is lost in time with no way to get home, decides now is a good time to get out and stretch his chubby legs.

 This episode is slightly less stupid when watched this way.

So Kirk and Sulu are prancing around a military base dressed for a slumber party and it doesn't occur to either of these two genius officers to so much as jam a chair up under the doorknob of the records room.  Naturally, a guard wanders in and says stick 'em up. 

Rather than have the guard beamed out to the parking lot, Kirk has him beamed up to the ship with his gun drawn and ready to fire.  Luckily, the guy stands in a comic cartoon crouch -- (because for some reason the beamer didn't correct his posture in transit like it did the pilot's) -- and he lets McCoy wander over and tug the gun out of his hand.  Good thing it wasn't me, because I would have shot holes in everybody in the transporter room and run screaming to the nearest window to make a jump for Ft. Lauderdale.

Kirk is captured because for the second time that episode he again gets confused by 20th Century door technology and shuts a door with Sulu on one side and himself on the other where there are a bunch of guys with guns who wouldn't have seen him if he'd just shut the door with himself on the other side.  No kidding.

Up on the ship, they can't beam up Kirk because he doesn't have his communicator pinned to his sleeves like mittens anymore.  Their communicators get taken from them so frequently you'd think someone back at HQ would have thought to stitch some kind of beacon into their uniforms.  Even Maxwell Smart had a phone hidden in his shoe, for crying out loud.

I wonder briefly if they're going to get lost in time over on the Get Smart set once they're finished with I Dream of Jeannie.

A plastic cracker inserted into the transporter room wall makes chicken soup.

Kirk gets questioned in a zany comic scene, Spock shows up in his pajamas along with Major Healey.  Major Healey double crosses them and gets the drop on everybody before the commercial break, but Spock wanders up behind him after the commercial break.  Then they go back to the ship.

The big idea to get back to the 23rd Century is to fly around the sun really fast until everyone is dizzy, then sail for home, an idea that was stolen from Captain Redbeard Rum in Blackadder.  Along the way through time they will beam Major Healey and the guard with the gun back inside themselves, which is an idea that was stolen from Sulu's last shore leave.

So Major Healey will be beamed back inside Major Healey before his plane blows up, thus erasing his memory of the elevator ride.  The guard from the base will be beamed back inside the guard from the base before he gets comically beamed up to the Enterprise.  How two objects will occupy the same space at the same time without some kind of huge nuclear explosion that will take out half of North America while simultaneously erasing the events of the past few hours from the two guys' brains isn't clarified.  I blame the sea otters.

The plan goes off without a hitch, except Major Healey sees the Enterprise again and, even though it vanishes in the next second, we were clearly told that he had recording instruments on his plane, which is why Kirk went down to the base in his yellow pajamas, so all the comic shenanigans everybody went through in the episode to set everything right just got undone in the last five seconds of the show.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Galileo Seven"

Sure an' begorrah!  It's St. Paddy's Day in outer space!  At the start of this week's Star Trek episode, sure and isn't the Enterprise passin' the remains of the biggest St. Patrick's Day party in the history of the universe.  At least that's what it looks like judging by the massive blob of green vomit floating around in space.

Personally, I'd steer clear of all Kryptonite-colored puke nebulae, but Kirk has standing orders from Starfleet to fly inside and see whether or not it's an open bar.

The Enterprise happens to be schlepping the Galactic High Poobah to a tea-totaling plague planet called Marcus Welby III.  I'm guessing by his no-nonsense attitude that he's the Dean Wormer of the Federation, and he insists that Kirk steer clear of all fun so they can make their rendezvous and deliver his load of lifesaving Fizzies on time.

I'm pretty sure the Galactic High Poobah was also the guy who played the mayor of San Francisco in a Dirty Harry movie, but not the one where the mayor really was Dean Wormer.  The Galactic High Poobah was a different mayor in that Dirty Harry where the mayor gets kidnapped and winds up on Alcatraz and either Cagney or Lacey gets shot at the end.  I don't know which.  The fat one who was married to the black guy from The Rookies, not the other fat one who wasn't.

Kirk sends Spock out in a shuttle to investigate the Kawasaki phenomenon that makes the sky look like green beer puke.  Why Spock has to go in a shuttle is never adequately explained, since it seems like it'd make more sense to take the Enterprise in there.  It's not like they can't take the Enterprise in, because they do so at the end to rescue Spock whose shuttle crash lands in a minute.  (Uh-oh.  Just act surprised when it happens.)

Spock's shuttle crash lands!

A crash-landed shuttle is such a great, original concept to spark a story.  And I'm sure it will stay that way, because this is a one-off deal and Star Trek won't flog the whole "shuttle crash lands on alien planet, hilarity ensues" concept to death over the next forty years.  So enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime concept this one time, because you'll never, ever see it happen again.

Down on the alien, smog-enshrouded planet, Spock sends crewmen Larabee and Gelato out to get killed...oops, I mean to reconnoiter.  He orders them to keep the shuttle in sight at all times, so naturally they wander forty miles out into a fog-filled valley then close their eyes and spin around a couple dozen times to make the trip back more excitin'.  

The two crewmen stumble upon an abandoned summer camp where all those sexy teenagers died ten years ago, and naturally Larabee or Gelato (who cares which one?) gets murdered by a giant, Styrofoam-rock-heaving gorilla-man.

Spock shoots a laser beam around, and the giant gorilla-men run away.  At least I think they do.  There is no budget to show more than the back of a head or a shoulder or something.  They do toss in some giant plastic spears, which I suppose would be pretty scary if they took the tips off because you could put out an eye.  (This public service message courtesy my mother who told us not to take the rubber tips off the darts in our dart guns, even though we did it all the time anyway and none of us ever lost an eye.)

Spock says they'll die for sure with nothing to eat if they stay on the planet.  Way to boost morale, Commander Bring-Down.  I thought this guy was supposed to be King Logic?  You've got ray guns to shoot the gorilla-men, so that takes care of them for as long as the juice in the ray guns hold out.  And instead of giving up on eating so easily, maybe you could -- oh, I don't know -- find out what the giant gorilla-men are eating and drinking.  'Cause logically they must be eating something other than Styrofoam rocks and plastic spears.  And those pelts they're wearing aren't mail orders from L.L. Bean, so there are potentially tasty animals out there you can hunt.  Or maybe Starfleet survival training consists of waving around an EBT card and demanding free Froot Loops from every King Kong alien that walks by, followed by starving to death if they don't immediately pop open the pantry.

I think Spock must have them dig a latrine.  Also, Spock is a toilet exhibitionist a la Lyndon Johnson.  That's the only explanation I can come up with for why at one point they're all squatting around outside in full view of aggressive aliens who have already killed a crew member and are not hiding behind some Styrofoam rocks.

To suggest that I should courtesy flush out here is illogical.  Jerks.

Upstairs, Kirk decides to bring the Enterprise in where he should have brought it before and search for the tiny little ship that wouldn't be lost if he had taken the big ship inside the puke cloud to begin with.  Also Mayor Grand Galactic Poobah is hollering at him that if they don't get to planet Marcus Welby III on time, all the best geosynchronous parking spaces will be gone.

Downstairs, Spock carts dead Gelato back to the shuttle and gets big plastic spears tossed at him.  He says they don't have to shoot the King Kong gorilla-men monsters, they only have to shoot above their heads and they'll be so impressed by the pretty light show that they'll applaud and wander away.  Did this guy really go to Vulcan logic school, because I'm pretty sure with that stupid plan by the end of the episode Spock and everybody else on the shuttle will be roasting on a spit with space-apples stuck in their mouths.

Up on the Enterprise, a second plastic toy shuttle doesn't find Spock.  Probably because it's only four inches long.

Down on the planet, the monster gorilla-men attack the crash-landed shuttle, but the budget only paid for one to be seen on camera and, like all the rest of the monster gorilla-men, you can only see little bits of him from a distance.    

Inside the shuttle, Scotty flicks the porch lights a couple of times and the monster gorilla-men run away before they can set fire to the bag of dog poop.

Scotty says that if he takes all the phasers and channels their power into the flux capacitor, he can get the shuttle back to 1985.

Drama is had by an impromptu funeral for Gelato which Spock correctly says is stupid and dangerous, and also by one guy being so insubordinate to Spock that he should be tossed in Space Leavenworth for the rest of his life.

We're supposed to think that Spock is wrong to not get all weepy and risk everyone's life by having a funeral in the backyard of aggressive gorilla-man space monsters, but he seems pretty vindicated to me when the gorilla-man monsters attack during the buffet after the funeral and Spock gets his foot caught in some Styrofoam rocks near the table with the deli platters and stale Chips Ahoy.

The shuttle takes off just as the Enterprise has abandoned its search because if Kirk doesn't leave pronto the Dirty Harry mayor has threatened to show him naked pictures of Officer Cagney or Lacey.

Kirk drives away very slowly like an old lady but, unlike the old lady who backed into my parked car in the parking lot that time when I was taking a nap during my lunch break at work years ago, at least he keeps checking the rearview mirror.

Spock dumps all the fuel out of the shuttle and sets fire to it to act as a big road flare, which means that the shuttle is going to burn up in the atmosphere and everyone is going to die.  He thinks it's hopeless and that the Enterprise won't see the gas burning.  If it was so hopeless, maybe it would have made more sense once they got the shuttle flying again to find an island or somewhere on the planet where the gorilla-men aren't living and set up a permanent camp there.  Or, you know, sentencing everybody on the shuttle to a fiery death is a pretty good command decision too.

Spock's makeshift flare is seen from the Enterprise, the plastic toy shuttle is brought aboard, and everybody is happy except Gelato and the other guy Spock's crummy leadership allowed to die down there.  Also the guys from the search party who died as well.  But they weren't main characters, so it's okay.

Kirk says Spock panicked when he set fire to the gas, and Spock says that panicking was the logical thing to do, and everybody on the bridge starts laughing so maniacally I'm pretty sure Bones must be venting nitrous oxide through the air vents.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "Dagger of the Mind"

On this week's Star Trek, the Enterprise is delivering medical supplies to the Tarantula penal colony.  Judging by the gigantic prop pill bottles on the transporter pad, I assume it's the zany CBS sitcom version of a "penal" colony and the bottles are filled with Viagra.  Oh, Charlie Sheen, how I miss your Madame Tussaud's wax figure face and your unfunny, coked-up single entendres.

The Enterprise beams up a giant box with a "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL XMAS!" sign taped to the side.  The box is juuuust big enough for a guy to fit in, but since it's a prison colony they trust that nobody's hiding out inside so Kirk sees no reason to peek under the lid. 

I find it odd that the beamer thing isn't programmed to automatically detect humans crouching inside boxes, because you'd think it'd be pretty important to automatically detect organic material of any kind when you're beaming stuff up and down on alien planets all the time.  Or maybe it's a Magician's Alliance rule to keep snooping Starfleet personnel from figuring out how the "saw the woman in half" trick works.

There's a shocking twist right off the bat this week when the lid of the box pops open and an escaped lunatic pops out!  I never saw that coming.

Uhura has green plastic onion rings hanging from her ears.

The loony beats up the transporter room guy and runs up to the bridge with a phaser, demanding $100,000 in cash in nonsequential bills and a plane to Neptune.  He also demands that Uhura do a naked fan dance because, as I said, he's crazy.

That is some security they have on that ship.  First, a twitchy, acne-scarred loon can run around the hallways and no one stops him.  Then he manages to get all the way up to the bridge, which along with engineering should be one of the most heavily defended areas of the ship but which, like engineering, is always getting taken over by every blob of light, space flea or hitchhiking Ricardo Montalban the ship picks up.  Can't they even bother to hire one asthmatic octogenarian security guard just to keep maniacs from leaping through the door and scaring the vig off poor Chekov every other week? 

The loon is actually Dr. Charlie Horse Gelding, who was assistant to the head of penal (stop laughing) planet Tarantula IV.  Down in sickbay he gives a performance so ridiculously over-the-top that Bones insists Kirk turn the Enterprise around and go back to Tarantula IV and arrest his acting teacher.

Tarantula IV is run by Inspector Luger from Barney Miller, who was senile as a cop but who is supposed to be brilliant as a scientist, but if I was crazy I'd still feel more comfortable with Harris, Fish or even Wojo as my psychiatrist.

Lt. Helen Noel accompanies Kirk to the planet, bringing along nothing but a short skirt with her underwear hanging out and accompanying sexy music.  I'm just glad it's not one of the politically correct Star Trek series that came later on or we'd have been treated to Kirk's ass hanging out and I would have had to put my eyes out with the TV remote.

Kirk, always the professional military man, ogles his subordinate like he's drooling over a centerfold and I suddenly wonder why Starfleet only hires hot dames.  I assume that in the future there are pills to make you skinny or maybe there's a "no fatties" sign hanging on the gates outside Starfleet academy.  I also assume Kirk, Scotty and Uhura are allergic to the former and managed to avoid the latter by sneaking inside in a pastry truck.

Inspector Luger wears a unitard with a picture of a huge hand crushing a bird to death on it.  He's also so open and honest and friendly that you know by TV rules that he's actually a lying maniac who's going to try to kill Kirk about two scenes from now.

Upstairs, Spock mind melds with Dr. Charlie Horse Gelding while downstairs Dr. Inspector Luger demonstrates a special barber chair invention with a glowing bedpan glued to the ceiling above it.

The usual.  Trim back and sides, glue it to the top.

Everybody on the planet marches around like Zanaxed-out zombies, but Kirk doesn't hightail it back to the ship for the cavalry the minute the bedpan starts shooting out mind-control rays on some poor slob.  Instead, he decides he wants to see how it works up close and personal and so he sneaks back and sits down in the barber chair.  I'm glad it was the crazy-house kind of penal (stop laughing) colony and not the criminal type, or this genius would have had the bright idea to cook his breakfast by sitting in the electric chair with a plate of bacon in his lap and having Lt. Sexy-Music throw the switch.

Lt. Sexy-Music tells Kirk he molested her at the company Christmas party, but in a good way.  Dr. Inspector Luger comes in and takes over the sparkly bedpan controls.  He turns the machine up to 11 and tells Kirk he loves Lt. Sexy-Music more than pie itself.  So he's not a villain after all, he's an intergalactic matchmaker.  Isn't that nice?

The bedpan fries Kirk's wig and makes him drop his phaser.

The two lovebirds get locked up together, but wait!  It turns out that the procedure that always rips out everybody else's mind, shoehorns in subliminal suggestions and turns them into walking human husks doesn't work on superhero Kirk.  Gosh, isn't he swell, gals?  Just don't go swimming in his pool.

Kirk orders the dame to climb through some ducts, because that's never been done before.

Dr. Inspector Luger sticks Kirk back in the barber chair again and tries to get the glowing bedpan to get him to stop treating his costars like crap and overeating but -- c'mon -- the thing doesn't work miracles.
Lt. Sexy-Music shuts off the power at the power-shutter-offer, and Kirk hits Luger with a Mason jar and heads for the hills, leaving Dr. Inspector Luger unconscious on the floor of the bedpan machine room.

Spock shows up and turns the power back on, and when the power comes back on in the bedpan room, Dr. Inspector Luger loses his mind completely and winds up getting transferred over to the 12th Precinct.

At the end we're told that Dr. Charlie Horse Gelding (who, recall, was as crazy as a loon for the entire episode) has been put in charge of Planet Psych Ward.  So Kirk thought it was a great idea to literally put a lunatic in charge of the asylum.  I guess Spock finds this hilarious, because he's grinning like a loon himself as the Enterprise takes off from the mess they've just made as fast as its little warp nacelles can carry it.